| Mar 31, 2005


Feature article, March 31, 2005

Feature article March 31 2005

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North Frontenac reverses decision on recreational maps

by Jeff Green

A decision to hold off on producing maps to promote camping opportunities on Crown Lands that are managed by North Frontenac Township didnt sit right with Councillor Betty Hunter, and she sought to reverse the decision at a Council meeting last Thursday.

Much of the work on the map had been completed this winter, but at a special Council meeting on the 2005 budget held on March 15, the entire issue of township mapping data was discussed and it was determined much work needed to be done to prepare necessary mapping for all departments of the Township. It was agreed, according to the minutes, that the [Crown Land Recreational Map] project be deferred until the whole township mapping issue is resolved, even though it would be an excellent marketing tool for this program.

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In a prepared statement, Hunter argued that the 190 campsites the township operates on Crown land are a well-kept secret, and the tourist map did not need to be 100% accurate in all matters in order to promote those under-utilised campsites.

I believe it is time to get off our aspirations, she said, pointing out that In Haliburton they have campsites that are fully booked, and there is a long waiting list. We need to start something here to let people know what we have - and now.

The campsites are part of the Crown Land Stewardship Program, through which North Frontenac has taken over maintenance of Ministry of Natural Resources roads into recreational areas on several lakes. In opposing Betty Hunters proposal to produce promotional maps, Councillor Bud Clayton said, The Crown Land Stewardship Program was instituted in 1997. It was supposed to be revenue neutral within 5 years. It hasnt happened. Each year Council decides whether to continue. This year it hasnt happened.

However, other Councillors took different positions.

Deputy Mayor Gleva Lemke said, I agree with Councillor Hunter. We need to move on with this.

Township Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson said, For staff, the main concern is that the road names are not on the map at this point. If we could add the road names, I think that would really help clarify it.

Councillor Will Cybulski said We dont need a general, all-purpose map. All we are interested in is a specific tourist map to promote this program.

In a 4-2 vote, with Councillors Smith and Clayton voting against, Council decided to proceed with publishing a recreational map to promote the use of the Crown Land roads and campsites.

Other items from North Frontenac Council

Fred Perry came to Council with greetings from the Conservationists of Frontenac Addington (COFA). COFA is promoting an Outdoor Sports and Trappers Exhibition on Sunday April 17 at the Flinton Community Centre. The event, now in its 8th year, is a co-operative venture of COFA, the Frontenac Addington Trappers Council, and the Land of Lakes Sporting Cub (formerly the Kaladar Gun Club). Perry said the show is put on as a community event, and is free to participants. There will be boating, gun and bow hunting, and fishing displays this year, a trout fishing pond, skinning demonstrations and antler scoring as well.

Im here looking for a statement of support from Council, and a bit of money wouldnt hurt either, Perry said, The hall rental is about $200 bucks.

Council responded favourably to Fred Perry, and said they will consider making a donation when they look at the township budget in the coming weeks.

Dianna Bratina Frontenac County Economic Development Manager Dianna Bratina appeared before Council. As well as making her personal introduction to Council, she talked about several initiatives, including a review of the doctor situation in the County. We need to gather information to see if this area requires an underserved area designation, Bratina said. She was encouraged by Council to contact Doctor Tobia in Northbrook, who, although located in Addington Highlands, serves many patients from North Frontenac.

Mayor Ron Maguire said, As you know, the position you hold is one the previous Council lobbied hard to establish; however the previous Council was less than impressed with how the duties were carried out.

Bratina said she is in the midst of preparing a mid to long-range work plan for Economic Development within the County, which will be presented to County Council later this summer.

Maguire also mentioned High Speed Internet. Under Bratinas predecessor, Karen Fisher, a Broadband initiative had been undertaken by North Frontenac and Addington Highlands Councils, but nothing has come of it in either township.

Bratina said there is a regionally based initiative starting up for broadband access throughout Eastern Ontario through the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus.

She also reported that another initiative undertaken during Karen Fishers tenure, an application for a feasibility study for an incinerator to be shared by North Frontenac and Addington Highlands is moving forward. The Provincially administered Green Enabling Fund had requested revisions to the application, and they have now been completed.

Contract Policing all but ruled out for NF: Councillor Will Cybulski, who has headed a task force on the future of policing in the township, reported that the townships initial interest had been in moving from the current so-called status-quo policing arrangement with the OPP, to a policing contract, which would give the township a greater say in what kinds of service will be provided by the OPP to North Frontenac. However, upon investigation, it looks like Contract Policing will be cost prohibitive Cybulski told Council.

Both Addington Highlands and South Frontenac have policing contracts with the OPP, but in each case costs have been increasing over the years.

Mayor Maguire goes to Ottawa Ron Maguire reported that he, along with 40 mayors from small townships, had attended a meeting with the Caucus of the Conservative Party in Ottawa.

Although wary of duplicating the efforts of the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus, which former Frontenac County Reeve Phil Leonard had a major role in developing, Maguire said this informal group of small municipalities (under 25,000) had a good meeting with the opposition caucus.

We spent a long time going over our grievances. I think it was valuable to meet with the other townships and to meet the Conservative Caucus. They might form the next government, so they should understand the concerns of small municipalities, Maguire said.

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